EPA holds 2-day workshop on biological evaluations

On June 29 and 30, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency and its federal partners, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, will hold a two-day workshop. This workshop will offer a forum for stakeholder suggestions for refining some of the interim scientific methods used in the recently released draft Biological Evaluations (BEs) for three pilot chemicals: chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion. These BEs are the first nationwide endangered species risk assessments. They were developed by EPA, FWS, and NMFS (with collaboration from USDA on crop production, use, and geospatial data on agricultural use patterns) in response to the 2013 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report entitled, “Assessing Risks to Endangered and Threatened Species from Pesticides.”  

This workshop builds on the previously held public meetings in November 2013, April 2014, October 2014, and April 2015 and follows the enhanced stakeholder engagement process that was finalized in March 2013. This public meeting furthers the agencies’ goal of developing a consultation process for pesticide impacts on listed species that is efficient, inclusive, and transparent.

The opening and concluding plenary sessions of the workshop will be open to the general public.  The other sessions (breakout sessions) will be by invitation only by the Workshop Steering Committee given meeting space limitations.  The Workshop Steering Committee is composed of members from EPA, FWS, NMFS, and representatives from industry, grower groups, and environmental non-governmental organizations. There may be a limited number of  spots for the general public if space allows.  Breakout sessions will discuss technical questions related to the three main topics of interest: 1) improving aquatic modeling, 2) refinements to interim method for Step 1 and Step 2, and 3) the approach to the weight of evidence.

Please visit the public docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0233-0022 at www.regulations.gov  to view the Federal Register Notice of Public Meeting. For more information about the workshop, the workshop agenda, and to register, go to http://www.cvent.com/events/june-2016-esa-stakeholder-workshop/event-summary-488e9e0e5e9146259caad9aeebb583c8.aspx

For general information and registration information: Khue Nguyen, Pesticide Re-evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 347-0248; email address: nguyen.khue@epa.gov.

Teleconference and webinar information will be provided to participants after they register for the workshop. All requests to participate in the workshop in person or via teleconference/webinar must be received on or before June 22, 2016.

For meeting logistics or special accommodations: Leona Laniawe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, Ecological Services, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; telephone: (703) 358-2640; fax (703) 358-1800; email address: leona_laniawe@fws.gov. 

Workshop Date and Time
The workshop will be held on June 29, 2016, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and June 30, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Workshop Location
The meeting will be held at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Skyline, Building 7, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Virginia. Public parking is available; follow the blue signs to the lot. There is a $20 fee for all day use. The meeting will be held in the Rachel Carson Room. You will need to present identification (either government issued personal identity verification card or state driver’s license) at the security check-in.

This meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. Sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids are available upon request at least 10 days prior to the meeting by contacting Leona Laniawe of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via telephone at (703) 358-2640 or via email at leona_laniawe@fws.gov.

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